S: Joe & Sue Rozell - 50th Wedding Anniversary
FC: Joe & Sue Rozell 50th Wedding Anniversary
6: December 7, 2010 Dear Mom and Dad, As a child, I had a couple of misperceptions about families-I believed it to be much easier to be a parent than a child because parents get to make the rules. I also thought everyone had families very similar to ours. As an adult with a son of my own, those perceptions shifted dramatically. No, it isn’t easier to be a parent than a child-parenthood involves an incredible amount of love, sacrifice, patience, energy, and forgiveness. It’s definitely harder than it looks. As an educator working with some less than stellar parents, I came to realize and appreciate the specialness of our family. There are so many things you did as parents that I always took for granted and didn’t properly appreciate. So here is my list, in no particular order, of things I would like to thank you for: Raising me in church Disciplining me-even when I didn’t deserve it Keeping those “family meetings” to a minimum Telling Frank, Alice, Sherlock, and Hildebrand stories Reading a Bible story together every night as a family Raising me on a farm and giving me the freedom to explore it Not hovering over me constantly worrying about me in a suffocating sort of way Expecting me to entertain myself and not depending on others to entertain me Baking thousands of buttery hot rolls Instilling in me a work ethic so I could grow into an adult who knew how to work Giving us a beef every year Explaining to me the different levels of gayness Letting me have free candy and pop at the store Teaching me that the St. Louis Cardinals are the only MLB team that matters Teaching me to drive years before I was “legal” Paying for college Letting Tim and I live with you for months so we could build our dream home Coming to every event I was involved in
7: Buying me a great car Doing 4,127,962 loads of dirty laundry Letting Tim and I live with you for months so we could build our dream home Coming to every event I was involved in Coming to every event Todd was involved in Being fabulous grandparents for our son Showing me how people of character should conduct themselves Making me learn how to change a flat tire Letting me quit piano lessons Making me paint fence—no, scratch that. I’m not thankful for that. Loving my husband like your own son Taking us on family vacations Getting up early to fry chicken to take on those vacations Buying only one Barry Manilow album and not more Supporting us even when you might not have agreed with our decisions Instilling in me a sense of humor Baking thousands of chocolate chip cookies Practicing multiplication facts in the car on the way to school Placing great importance on education Teaching me the best things in life aren’t things. Getting up early every Sunday before church to cook a fabulous meal for the family
8: Most importantly, modeling for all of us what a good marriage should look like. Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. --Charles Swindoll Thank you for making so many great deposits! Thank you for the 50 years you have devoted to each other and your family. We love you, Tracy and Tim
18: Growing up Garrison, by Glen Llezor for Garrison Magazine Fall, 2025. I remember the first time I ever saw Tim Rozell—it was one of those astonishing, unforgettable occurrences that come from nowhere and are seared indelibly onto some part of your visual brain, like the sudden swooping of a hawk carrying off a screaming squirrel right before both animals smash onto your windshield. I was working as a temporary UPS driver’s helper, delivering Christmas presents to a residential area in Manhattan, Kansas, when I walked through piles of un-raked leaves to the door of a non-descript gray-toned house just on the edge of town. As I stepped on the porch I felt movement underneath, assumed it was a cat, and rang the doorbell. When nobody answered after several seconds I turned, only to see the famous college professor emerging from beneath the porch at my feet. | “Who are ya’ and whaddaya want?” the figure said. “Uhm, UPS,” I stammered. “Package for you?” “Hmmph,” he said, and scooped the package from my arms, then disappeared once again, package and all, under the porch. Before he took the package from me I noticed again the delivery address and recipient’s name: Tim Rozell.
19: It would be several years before I saw Rozell again, this time however for more deliberate reasons. I was working for Garrison Magazine and was asked by my editors to track down individuals who, in their words, “had lived in Garrison once upon a time but don’t live there now but would like to and also might be remembered by more than 3 but less than 24 people who live in Garrison currently.” After several days of trying to interpret those instructions, one name popped into my head: Tim Rozell. Thus it was that eight years after first spotting the reclusive former Garrison resident, I found myself once again walking through piles of un-raked leaves and approaching a non-descript gray-toned house on the edge of Manhattan, Kansas. This time I paused at the edge of the porch, leaned over and peered underneath. There was definitely movement—something large was peeking back at me. I sat on a weathered, rickety bench on the uncovered side of the porch and cleared my throat.
20: “Whaddaya want?” the same slightly nasal, almost whiny voice I’d heard eight years earlier growled out at me. “Can you come out from under there? I just want to talk to you a bit about growing up in Garrison.” “Where?” “Garrison. Missouri. The place where you grew up and which now houses the world famous amusement park, ‘Bieber World.’” Minutes later, a dirty, unkempt Tim Rozell wriggled his way out from under the splintery, decaying redwood deck, brushed off the worst of the cobwebs and sat heavily beside me. The following is a word-for-word transcript of the discussion that ensued.
21: GL: Why do you hide under the porch? TR: None of your business. Next question. GL: Could you at least brush the cobwebs out of your mustache so I can look at you without throwing up? TR: Could. Don’t want to. GL: Okay, then. Tell our readers a bit about life as a child in Garrison. (Author’s note: At this request Rozell’s face changed, displaying several emotions, finally settling on one that I interpreted as either nostalgia or a hemorrhoidal flareup. Either way, I knew the tone of the interview had just changed dramatically.) TR: Dang, man. It was amazing in so many ways. There were no real extremes, you know, but there was comfort and loneliness, euphoric flight and burrowing sorrow. You know what I’m saying? GL: No. I have absolutely no idea. TR: Okay, let me try and explain. It was an isolated way to be a kid, yet it was warm and friendly and welcoming in a way that didn’t require a lot of people to be around. There are vivid memories of specific things, of course, but there is also a general sense of coming into a warm house, fingers and toes numb with cold, then thawing out in the presence of incredible aromas of fresh-baked bread and platters of steaks. There were so many times my dad and I would load hay bales onto the back of the truck, sometimes me throwing them out of the barn loft and him stacking, sometimes the other way around. By the time I’d cut the strings and spread the hay over long stretches of ground in the Moody Field or Ballground Field while my dad drove the truck and listened to the radio news on KTTS, my fingers would be red and throbbing with cold beneath the thin Jersey and fuzzy yellow glove combination I wore. It was the best we had. And then there were buckets of grain to be spread in troughs. We wore insulated Northerner rubber boots that might have kept our feet warm in fifty-degree weather but probably not, and they were heavy like you can’t imagine. Even with two or even three or four pairs of socks my toes would go numb within minutes. Then I remember snatches of warmth in the cab of the truck while driving to the next field, and sometimes there were detailed conversations with my dad and sometimes nothing but long silences. I was a hard kid to talk to at times, but I’m sure at other times my dad just wished I would shut up. In fact he would tell me that, although usually in nicer ways (but not always) at frequent intervals.
22: I loved those times so much, though. Driving up to the gate, jumping out of the truck and being honked at for not opening the gate far enough, or for opening it too far, or for leaving it open when it should have been closed or for closing it when it should have been open. It didn’t matter, I didn’t take it personally. It was just our form of communication, my dad and me. Then the cows would come running, and they’d just look at you so gratefully, you know? People say cows don’t have emotions but I’ve known that’s not true all my life. I saw joy and pleasure and even occasionally pain. I sometimes hated the responsibility and relentlessness of having to feed night and morning with my dad, but I have come to the point in my life where I look back and know with absolute certainty that I loved those animals with whom I grew up. What I didn’t realize until much later was how much my quiet, unassuming dad also loved them. I will never forget the gloss of tears in his eyes when he found out that ol’ Bossy, our first milk cow purchased by my uncle (and his brother) Bill, had broken her rear leg when stepping in a rut in the field as I was running her in from the pasture to be milked. Or the time I was mowing in that same field outside the house and Fonnie, our beautiful and smart English Shepherd, in a fit of love and affection when she saw me on the tractor, came running up only to step in front of the mower before I could get it stopped. I have never felt such horror, thankfully, in my entire life, and I could not imagine feeling worse until I saw my dad’s quivering jaw as he had to put Fonnie down. It is only from experiencing those incredibly low moments that I came to realize the joy that he found from caring for cattle and horses and dogs and even the occasional chickens and hogs. Okay, maybe not the hogs. GL: (Author’s note: At this point Rozell squinted his eyes and his jaw became slightly set. His gaze turned to a distant cloud formation and a sad little smile crossed his face) TR: Oh, my. I had forgotten about the hogs. Well, almost. Maybe I blocked it out. I was never so cold, maybe even hypothermic, as the “winter of the hogs.” I’m not sure I want to talk about this GL: Why? TR: It’s not the hogs themselves, but, I don’t know. I guess it was a painful memory because it was such futile work, but it’s also painful to realize what an incredible idiot I was in those days. How little I saw outside of my own needs GL: Why don’t you tell us about the hogs. (Author’s note: At this point Rozell looked at me and, in spite of the mild day, his cheeks were red and his eyes glossy.) TR: It was January, and maybe still known by old timers as the coldest winter in Southwest Missouri history. That’s the way I remember it, anyway. Mostly I remember us getting a bunch of brood sows, like 24 or 25 of them it seems. Much of the fall had been spent building farrowing crates, and arranging them just on the south end of the hay barn, an open space that should have been exposed to the sun much of the day but which I remember as the coldest place on Earth. Anyway, I’ll make a long story short here—all the sows basically decided to have their pigs during that cold stretch, and my mom and I spent hours out there trying to keep heat lamps over baby pigs and save at least a few of them.
23: It didn’t work. They were so delicate and so cold that they’d snuggle up next to the sow, who would then lay on them and either suffocate or crush them to death. It was horrible, and all I could think of was how miserable I was. Mom was there too, and she seemed miserable and stressed and sad and cold and depressed and mostly out of her element. But she was there, and she should have been short-tempered and grouchy but she wasn’t. At one point I even remember her standing next to me looking down at several newly crushed baby pigs, and she kind of leaned against me and put her arm around me and gave me a little squeeze. I was sad about the pigs too, but it was only after years of reflection that I came to realize that my dad wasn’t out there in the cold with us for a reason. See, all I could think of at the time was how miserable I was, and how much I hated the fact that he was not helping
24: GL: (Author’s note: After a long, long pause, I finally prompted Rozell.) And where was your dad? (His answer came simply and matter of factly): TR: He’d had surgery for colon cancer. He could barely breathe, let alone move. They had removed quite a long section from his colon and the recovery was very painful. Of course I didn’t think of any of this at the time. I only thought of my misery. I hardly registered the fact that my dad had cancer at all. I definitely never registered the toll on my mom, and that she was bearing not only the physical load but the emotional load as well. It must have been like some arthritic condition that causes everything inside you to ache at every waking moment, at the same time that you are bound tightly to a loaded backpack containing hundreds of pounds. And yet you know you have to take that load and your aching body up that next hill and the next one after that. GL: But you were out there helping. That counts for something, right? TR: I guess. Yeah, maybe it does. I don’t know. It’s just hard to realize that something so serious to everyone else in my circle of life had so little impact on me; that in fact it was just irritating. GL: (Author’s note: There was a long pause here while we both digested this. I was afraid Rozell was headed back under the porch, so I quickly said:) And their marriage? Sounds like they really support each other. TR: They seemed to figure out pretty early on that it worked best to do the things they both liked as much as possible, but also to give each other the freedom to do “their own thing” as well. That you can’t be jealous over golf, or spending time with an elderly aunt. The other thing is that they somehow figured out how to make family gatherings not only not stressful, but extremely fun and relaxed. We have spent countless hours sitting around the table, telling jokes and stories and mumbling around food so good that I just gained two pounds talking about it I really feel for those people who dread getting together over the holidays. Our family was, and is, like one of those nineteenth century ideals that you read about in bad Jane Austen novels. GL: There are no bad Jane Austen novels. TR: Exactly. GL: (Author’s note: At that moment, Rozell’s wife, Marcia, came home from what had obviously been a cold-weather kayaking trip. He smiled and said “Hey” and she smiled back and gave him a quick hug, then went in the house. I decided to ask one more question:) GL: So having grown up with all that love and support, why is it that you now hide under the porch? TR: None of your business.
26: Mom and Dad, I wonder, going back to December 1960, if you could have ever imagined what would result 50 years later? I’m sure if you did even try to imagine, it would have been impossible to know how much you both are loved and admired by your family. To be married 50 years is such an amazing accomplishment. There are so many things I could talk about and thank you for, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin. There has never been a time when I needed help that you both haven’t been there. I have thought for the last 15+ years, I will get to the point when I don’t need your help anymore, but so far that has not happened. Something always seems to come up where you will sacrifice your time or money or whatever is needed to make things easier. For that, and a million other things, I am grateful for the parents you have been and continue to be. I am grateful to have you as role models to look upon as I start the lifelong journey of being a parent. I just had a vision of Kari and I in 50 years and London was still living with us. Wouldn’t that be unbelievable? Wait a minute, that’s not really that hard to believe. Happy Anniversary! Love, Tyler, Kari & London
29: Granny & Gramps, Where do I start? Narrowing down a list of things you’ve taught me is extremely difficult because you’ve both taught me so much. First, your dedication to Jesus is a shining example that we all admire. You love Jesus and you love each other extremely well. You also love reading and studying God’s word and Tara and I both admire you for that. You are living examples of Jesus and for that I’m the most thankful You have both taught all of us how to love each other. Family dinners just don’t bring families together as much as ours do. Grandpa, your smoke shack recipes would rival any tailgating BBQ fare in the world and Grandma your rolls may possibly be the 8th wonder of the world. These things may also be the reason we’re all a bit hefty... You’ve also taught me the value of money, how to work hard, how to have fun by laughing, how to sneak into basketball games, how to pay for the basketball games I get caught sneaking into, how to raise my future children, that good friends are important, how to lose my hair (I’m looking at you, Gramps), how to love with passion, how to love the Cardinals with passion, how to eat gristle for my bad knees/ankles/elbows/back, how to be selfless and how to dedicate my life to serving my church. Happy 50th Anniversary. Thanks for being amazing examples in every way. We love you, Todd & Tara
51: Celebrating 50 wonderful years! Love, Tracy, Tim, Todd & Tara Tim, Marcia, Sam & Josie Tyler, Kari & London